Friday, 27 July 2012

Teaching thoughts and school

We have been doing Orientation as a group of World Teach volunteers - altogether we have three weeks. So we have classes for most of all the days, tomorrow is our first full day off. The classes include some very helpful guidance about classroom management, lesson planning, local culture, Samoan language, education system. We have taught trial lessons in small groups and in pairs (to our own group). Next week we get to teach a small group of local students.  We also get some trips out which are great. It all helps to build our confidence in what we will need to do when we get into the classroom. Generally our aims are to foster enjoyment of learning, by doing fun activities, by having lots of variety, by doing investigations rather than lectures, and to establish a respectful class atmosphere. Many parents and teachers here still use corporal punishment or the threat of it, so we are trying to demonstrate that there is another way. My school is particularly challenging as it is so big and has students from all over the island. So they are not in a cohesive group. In other schools the village and village elders will support structure and discipline in the school, but this is not possible in my school. I have met the Deputy Head, who used to be in the Marines, so perhaps that bodes well. David's school is a vocational school with few students.   Kate

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